Our November has been a fun month. Two main themes emerged from our goings on: Eating and Running. Cindy has been a Girls on the Run (GOTR) coach this fall for Stewart and about 12-14 other girls around her age. This is a pretty great cause – all about building confidence in young ladies through running in an environment where they aren’t constantly competing or having to measure up to boys. It is NOT about winning but instead about finishing. NOT about time or distance but instead about doing your best. NOT about beating others but instead enjoying the journey with others and building each other up in the process. Cindy with her good friend Tracy have put in 9o minutes for two nights a week since September plus preparation of the lesson they spend time on each meeting. They were great coaches. Cindy doesn’t know this, but just watching her do this inspired me – she’s nothing short of amazing. During these meetings the girls also build up their endurance with the culminating point being a local 5k (The Reindeer Romp) where there is not clock and only Girls on the Run girls and their coaches and families. Roughly 1,500 of them at the Rock Hill event! Their GOTR group even had a mascot: Charlie! He attended most of the practices, mostly because his Dad couldn’t get home from work in time to watch him (Bleh!), and decided rather than sit around and watch he’d join in on the running. As a result, he ran the entire Reindeer Romp at the age of 4 and finished! Stewart was running a minimum of 2 nights a week with GOTR and finished the Reindeer Romp with a great effort. She’s so amazing because while running she manages to socialize just as she does when she’s not running. Will made a point of timing his 5k Reindeer Romp (that’s my boy!) and finished with a time of 26 minutes. Let me brag for one moment: I have three awesome kids.
Thanksgiving in Columbus was all about the Panda. There were lots of other great things like great food, good company, the first Thanksgiving in years where my entire family was together and my Aunt Dian and Cousin Shani/Joe and Shelby was down. They also brought their cute dog Maggie who was a fan favorite amongst everyone. Maybe one of the sweetest dogs I’ve been around. But back to this Panda. Charlie and I were out back playing golf and we saw the Panda. Apparently the guy in the Panda suit and his sons who were home from college, wandered out back to see whether a guy in a Panda suit could play golf (he could). When he wandered up to the hole my parents live on my Cousin Joe, the Game Warden (no, the irony was not lost on us), politely asked him to join us inside where we took about 100 pictures of this guy. Sitting at our Thanksgiving table, surrounded by family, etc. It had us laughing for the rest of the day. Not sure how we’ll top it next year. Maybe Albert the Gator pays us a visit? Mickey Mouse? Sir Purr from the Panthers?
Another big event in November, ok early December, was Charlie’s test for his Yellow Belt. He’s diligently worked through all of the White Belt (the first belt) requirements and as the youngest person in the class at this time, he decided he was ready to test. Hand techniques memorized? Check. Count to 10 in Korean? Check. Break some wood with a hammer chop? Check. On the first try? Check! He was as proud of this accomplishment of any so far in his life. He had a big crowd watching him and could bring many to chuckle as he stepped through the class process maybe one half step behind the teacher and class. Did that bother him? Not one bit. He yelled his “Hi-Yahs” as loud as he does as if he was right where he needed to be. The definition of a proud dad is knowing your son is a slight step behind and being as proud as you can because he’s out there doing it on his own and not worrying one bit about anything else. Makes me wonder what happens to us along the way to lose this spirit? We are born with awesome. We should all do everything we can to keep our awesome and not take others.
One final note. I ran a unique race last weekend in Croft State Park near Spartanburg. It was a 24 hour race called the One Epic Run of which I ran for 7 hours and 22 minutes (6 hours 40 minutes of running/moving time) and 35 miles before heading back home for date night. While some may question my priorities, I rarely miss a date night. The unique part here wasn’t the race format or distance but rather the charity that the event was supporting: Eleonore Rocks. This Charity provides rockers to families who have children born with very little time to live on this earth (hours and days). I got weepy at the start of this race hearing about this cause. There are so many wonderful people doing really wonderful things in this world. This was just another example. Trying to bring a little comfort to people who likely have nearly no ability to see comfort in their current situation. I was touched. If you want to learn more check out the link above. Makes me want to do more wonderful things and support those doing wonderful things for others. That. Is. All.